Going on maternity leave & having to live off one wage is TERRIFYING! Evie was unexpected. We hadn’t saved for a baby. My partner was doing back-breaking hours to try & boost our funds. I made it my mission to cut back on our expenditure & we ended up saving £1000’s a year. Yay! This has even helped me to stay on maternity leave for much longer, so I had to share it with any other families that might also be struggling. Here is my 10 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY:
1. MEAL PLAN
SAVINGS: £80 A MONTH
This was the BEST way to save money on grocery shopping. It saves a lot of stress on deciding what to eat each night. We’ve saved over £20 a week by meal planning. This might not seem like a lot but £80 a month & £1000 a year makes that number sound pretty yummy.
Plan what you’d like for lunch & dinner for the week & write a shopping list that includes just those ingredients you need to meet your meal plan. Even better, shop online! This will stop you from picking up those snacky goods that cost more than you think. It’s a good idea to make sure you do include a couple of snacks or else you’ll end up going to the shop in the week & splurging.[sliderpro id=”5″]
I made these print outs for my family. We laminated them so that we can use a wipeable board pen on them & reuse them every week.
2. MEATLESS MONDAY
SAVINGS: £40 A MONTH
Meat & fish are so expensive! If you haven’t heard of ‘Meatless Mondays’ before, you need to try it. My family loves meat & it took us a couple of weeks to adjust to having just one meal without meat, but now we love the challenge of discovering & making new dishes. You could even make it into a fun date night challenge! This small change has saved us such a big amount on our food shop bill. Join in on twitter or Pinterest with #meatlessmondays to share your meal ideas & to find more in return.
3. BUDGET FOR FOOD
SAVINGS: £80 A MONTH
I spend no more than £30 a week on food for two adults & a toddler. Before I made meal plans this would be £50 or above. We also made the switch to Lidl’s & were AMAZED at how much better value for money the food is & yet it still has amazing quality. Especially the fruit, vegetables & meat. Set yourself a limit each week & challenge yourself to make it. You’ll find yourself cutting back on those things you really don’t need.
4. BUDGET FOR PETROL
SAVINGS: £100 A MONTH
We put in petrol once a week & make it a mission to last us the week. It really has affected how efficiently we both drive. We’re more mindful of the journey’s we take & don’t use the car for journey’s we could easily walk. Jamie has even started car pooling to work when he can.
5.GO MONTHLY ON YOUR HOME PROVIDERS
SAVINGS: £500+ A YEAR
Don’t let companies GUESSTIMATE! We saved the £100’s, by changing from quarterly bills to monthly direct debits. Monthly payments are cheaper anyway & submitting monthly meter readings means NO SURPRISE BILLS! Sounds like hassle? There are apps that make sending meter readings as quick & easy as sending a text.
I made my family a ‘Home Information’ page (I’ve included an example below) so that we know how much we’re paying for each bill. We set up online accounts for everything so we can easily access it & manage it if we need to & can contact them without searching through paperwork.
6. GET A PAY AS YOU GO SIM
SAVINGS: £40 A MONTH
Do you really need to upgrade your phone at the end of your contract? There are some great sim only deals from as little as £3.99 a month! Between my partner & I we spend £85 a month on our iPhones. My contract finishes in June & I’ll save us nearly £40 a month by switching. They’re usually contract free, so if you do really want that new handset, you have no ties. Look HERE for some great Sim only deals.
7. PAY YOURSELF
SAVINGS: £AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AFFORD A MONTH
This is the fun most rewarding way to save money! A financial advisor once said to me:
‘Do you pay yourself?’
We’ve all had times when we’ve had a big unexpected bill come out & had nothing left for ourselves. Setting up a savings or separate account & paying yourself a bit every month guarantees that you have some funds for a rainy day, money to treat yourself with, or at least some savings behind you. It’s just as important to pay yourself as it is to pay your water bill.
8. FIND FREE THINGS TO DO
SAVINGS: WHAT YOU’D SPEND INSTEAD ON PAID DAYS
You can easily turn a simple walk in the woods into a fun day out. Why not write an ‘I SPY’ list for your little ones & get them to find all of the items as you’re walking around or even a treasure hunt game where they need to find & collect certain coloured leaves or stones.
Geocaching is a great free thing to do. If you haven’t heard of it, you’d be surprised by how many hidden treasures are all around you. Click HERE to find out more about it.
9. BULK BUY
SAVINGS: £50 A MONTH
There are some great deals on boxes & multi-packs of items you regularly use. From nappies & wipes, to washing powder. It is so much cheaper than buying small packs weekly. If storage is an issue, then Pinterest & Ikea have some amazing creative storage solutions. We’ve saved nearly £50 a month on baby essentials by bulk buying.
10. GET CHEAPER RATES
SAVINGS: £1500 A YEAR+
I’ve saved over £1500 a year by changing my home providers. Comparison websites are your new best friend. You’re probably paying way more than you need to for your gas/electric/internet/home insurance. It only took me a couple of hours to shop around & save this much. I know that’s a long time with little ones running around, but it was really worth setting that time aside. Click HERE to get started.
What did you think of this list? Have you got some great ways to save money for your family?
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